S U M M E R  B U C K E T  L I S T

It was a long winter in the Greer household – with me waddling around heavily pregnant, desperately trying to savour the last of my days with ‘just Beau’ (which in reality turned out to be  a lot of snuggling, watching TV, reading books, and visiting cafes for fluffy milk and allthefoodsplease).

And then Georgie was born on the third day of spring – almost two weeks passed her expected due date, as though she was clinging onto her warm cocoon, not at all interested in being born until the weather improved.

And now… we are just 6 days away from the summer-time! Spring – and Georgie’s glorious fourth trimester – is almost over, already.

I intend to write more about her fourth trimester, our wonderful babymoon, and prioritising the adjustment into a family-of-four… but today I want to share with you our S U M M E R  B U C K E T  L I S T ! Because priorities!

I made a decision recently that I need to prioritise what matters most to me, above anything else – and that is quality time with my family, getting out into nature, and having bucket-loads of fun together.

On one particularly long afternoon of cluster-feeding, when Georgie was just born… and I had just finished reading Constance Hall’s book ‘Like a Queen,’ feeling inspired by her discussion around surrender and choosing joy with her children over literally anything else… I got out a pen and a piece of paper.

Right in the centre of this piece of paper, I scrawled “summer bucket list” and drew a cloud shape around it. And, when Nick got home that evening, we listed all the things that came to mind in anticipation of our summer-time with the children. Not a list of things we should do, but a list of the things we could do.

So I stuck this piece of paper under a magnet on the fridge, replacing the list of housework formerly there, and it’s a daily reminder to me to embrace the things I most enjoy doing.

Our weeks are pretty full on – just as yours would be – Nick runs his own Building & Project Management company, often working 12 hour days, and I’m full-time mother to an active preschooler and a breastfed baby. Saturdays come and are a flurry of errands, and housework, and catch ups, and each getting a bit of time for ourselves. But then – Sundays.

Sundays are our family days. Our no work, no commitments, no plans days. We avoid sharing these days with others, cherishing the time as just the four of us. Sundays are our bucket list days. The mornings are for having fun, getting out and doing things we really enjoy – maybe there’ll be a long car journey for the little ones to nap, a place to easily push a stroller, lots of trees and wide open spaces, a picnic to enjoy, and blue summer skies. And then the afternoons are reserved for relaxing – watching TV or a film, reading books, figuring out whose turn it is to mold play dough or build duplo, and later on eating a favourite meal.

The best way to end and start any week. Fulfilled.

What would you put on your own summer bucket list? I’d love to know!

x Hayley

S U M M E R  B U C K E T  L I S T

  • Have a picnic in Cornwall Park
  • Smell the flowers in the Auckland Domain
  • Meet the animals at Auckland Zoo
  • Go for a trip on the Glenbrook Railway
  • Try new foods at the Clevedon Farmers Market
  • Pick strawberries in Kumeu – starts here after Christmas
  • Go on beach trips – to Long Bay, Omaha, Pakiri…
  • Camping in the Coromandel – toast marshmallows!
  • Discover local walkways & playgrounds – buggy-friendly Auckland here
  • Garden fun – paddling pool, sand tray, BBQs + homemade popsicles (try thisthis or this)
  • Water fun at the Albany stadium childrens’ pools (tip: go early!)
  • Go up the Sky Tower on a City trip
  • Catch the ferry to Waiheke Island
  • Build forts on rainy days
  • Walk around Lake Pupuke
  • Walk through Shakespear Regional Park
  • Kids Kingdom, to celebrate Beau starting preschool.
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Merry Christmas, Beau

Dear baby

It feels so surreal calling you that, now – as you most certainly are not a baby anymore! You are a fully fledged little boy – with your own mind and your own heart – growing more and more every day. But you will forever be my little one.

Today is Christmas Eve and I wanted to start a new tradition for you – I hope to write to you every year, on the night before Christmas. I want it to become something which I can someday gift to you – memories from your childhood.

I have my own childhood memories of Christmas-time. And they are magical. I can still remember the smell of the tinsel coming down from the attic. I can hear the score of Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman. And I can taste my Nana’s homemade lemon curd tarts.

And now we’re creating memories for you. Details in your own story, for you to carry with you throughout the years.

This morning we went downtown to the Auckland Fish Market, and you helped us select the best crayfish and prawns for our Christmas Eve dinner – which your daddy then cooked on the barbecue and we ate with our bare hands whilst drinking ginger beer. We watched The Snowman, from my own childhood, snuggled together on the sofa eating mini mince pies and soothing one another when he melts at the end. And before you had your evening bath, we hung an old copper key outside the back door – so Santa can get in, once we are sleeping.

Maybe it’s a key you will someday give to your own children.

Maybe someday you’ll be reasuring them, that the snowman will be built again next year.

I am so excited for tomorrow, my Beau – for you to wake up and call out to us, and for you to run into the living room and see the pile of presents there – just for you.

Tomorrow you will be two years and three months old, and it will be your 3rd Christmas. But it’s the very first Christmas that you will really understand. And I want the whole day to be as magical for you, as all the other days of the year are for me. I want you to know how loved and cherished you are. How much you deserve to be given special things. Because you are a very special thing. You bring a joy to our lives that I simply cannot express.

A few weeks ago – rather fortuitously – you lost your football. So I leaped on the opportunity and told you that ‘perhaps we will ask Santa if you may have a new one?’ I told you what a good boy you had been all year long, and how I am sure Santa would want to gift one for you.

Daddy took you to the Orewa Beach Santa Parade, one Saturday when I was working – and he told me that you stared at Santa in awe, whispering as his float moved away, ‘please can I have a new football, Santa?’

And then we took you to Snow Planet in Silverdale, where your daddy had built Santa’s Grotto at the top of the ski slope. And Santa was there. You went straight up to him, and said hello. Smiling from cheek to cheek. ‘Beau!’ you told him, when he asked your name. And ‘a new football, please,’ is what you replied when he asked. You walked over to the fireplace with him, and he was saying things to you – but I don’t know what they were. They were just for you, from Santa.

At every opportunity since, you’ve reminded me that Santa will bring you a new football. And my baby, he will. You will have a sackful of wonderful gifts, and a brand new football will be sitting right at the top. Nothing will make me happier tomorrow, than seeing your recognition and delight.

So sleep tight, my little one. By the time you are reading this letter you will be much grown – but right now you are my little angel, my darling boy who is still so little and precious, if no longer a baby. And all the magic in the world is about to unfold before you.

I lay with you as you fell asleep – and all the magic in the world was there before me.

Your loving and forever grateful,

Mumma xx

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SCENES // road-trip

A wintry weekend spent in Rotorua: Car trip, sunset, hot-tub and cuddles. Frosty mornings, animals, and jumping in puddles. Green, green grass; picnics and slides. Fluffy and cake when it’s cold outside. Climbing through trees and warm redwood light. Travels with you and the world feels right…

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SCENES // seaside

Sundays spent by the seaside. Collecting rocks and pretty shells. Digging sand. Chasing gulls. Flappy wings… not a fan. The air whips through our hair, blowing cobwebs away. The winter sun is low in the sky, sparkling on the waves. Nana comes – running with wide open arms. Poppa too. Walking, picnicking on the tartan rug. Egg sandwiches. Shoo birds. Go-way. Mumma has to leave early for a rescheduled appointment. How I would much rather stay with my boys, building castles by the sea.

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SCENES // park life

Crisp winter days. Fresh air and cooler winds. Afternoons spent at the park. Collecting rocks, crunching fallen leaves. Birds fly over-head, in search of food. We stop to watch them. The crackle of static when you ‘wheee!’ down the slide. Perfect pieces of bark. Bright red; the ‘nee nor’ fire truck. Watching the sun set and the moon rise higher in the sky. The promise of a warm meal and cuddles with daddy. It’s time to head home again.Through the trees. Past the river. Bye-bye to the pukekos and ducks. Up the hill, and round the corner, cars whizzing past. You hum a song I’ve not heard before. Your nose is cold when I kiss it. Park life.


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